Technology

Google Still Tracks Your Location Even When You Tell It Not To

That's the exact opposite of what you were supposed to do, Google.

BY TOM NICHOLSON | Aug 15, 2018 | News

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That little inward glow of self-determination and glee you get after switching off your location history on your phone is, it turns out, sadly misplaced. Google still knows where you've been.

An investigation by the Associated Press found that apps and services on Android phones and iPhones will still log where you've been even after you've specifically told it not to, and that there was more than enough information stored to closely trace a researcher's movements over a number of days.

Though Google says that with location history off, "the places you go are no longer stored", some Google apps still take snapshots of your location without telling you. Open Maps or the Weather app, for instance, and Google will have a pinpoint of where you are even when location history is turned off. Some searches in Google will also send the company your location. Your iPhone might tell you that "None of your Google apps will be able to store location data in Location History", but that's because it'll be stored in a bit of your account called 'My Activity' instead.

Google responded by saying that it "provide[s] clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time". 

It's very fiddly to pick through the timeline of places Google records of your movements with and delete them individually, though. Google does mention that location gathering will happen once you've turned off location history - "This setting does not affect other location services on your device, like Google Location Services and Find My Device. Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps" - but it doesn't mention how to actually stop it.

You can stop Google knowing where you are all the time though: just turn off web and app activity in your settings and you should be fine.

From: Esquire UK


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